the weblog of Alan Knox

The Gospel and the Church

Posted by on Dec 8, 2008 in blog links | 11 comments

“People must go to church to hear the gospel because there aren’t people in their lives who are living the Gospel. Unfortunately, those people who aren’t living the gospel are the ones preaching it on Sundays.”

(HT: Brad)


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  1. 12-8-2008

    Ouch! That’s gonna leave a mark…

  2. 12-8-2008



  3. 12-8-2008

    The flipside is that people hear the gospel through some church people living out the gospel, but they stay away from their church because the gospel is not lived out by the others in the particular church that the authentic gospel livers attend.

    Yet, the OP statement is a generalization and there are exceptions to that norm, thank God.

    How do we answer this dilemna w/o being schimatic and sectarian? Since we cannot forsake the assembling of the church. That has been the question of the ages.

  4. 12-8-2008


    I hope it leaves a mark on my life.

    Aussie John,

    Yeah, but the bullseye is painted on my chest.


    I did not copy this to point a finger at others, but to encourage myself to both live the gospel and proclaim the gospel. Its my desire, and more and more my practice, to live a life that demonstrate God’s grace and love – especially toward those who can’t return it – and to proclaim God’s grace and love.


  5. 12-8-2008

    Alan, your rebuke is well taken. I know of no one who does a poorer job of living out the Gospel that he proclaims than I do.

  6. 12-8-2008

    Alan, I don’t usually do this with you, but I need to pushback. My Luther alter ego is agitated.

    First, how exactly do we “live” the gospel? I thought faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God? It seems that the gospel is a message we proclaim not a life we live. Yes, living in light of the gospel is important, but it is not the same thing.

    Second, some of those who preach the gospel do then try to be faithful to obey the Lord. This was a sweeping statement that struck me as judgmental.

    Third, the entire reason I do need a Savior is because my preaching and my living are inconsistent. Honestly, I’m a crappy Christian. As those great philosophers the Rolling Stones once said, “I try, and I try, and I try, try, try, try, try.” But I always fall short. Thank God for grace. Simul justus et pecator!

    Just some thoughts. I still love your blog.

  7. 12-8-2008


    My comment wasn’t meant as a rebuke to you.


    I’ll answer your “Luther alter ego” with a quote from an epistle that Luther didn’t care for: Faith without works is dead.

    Jesus proclaimed the good news of the kingdom and he described the kingdom in terms of how the kingdom community will live. Living should match proclamation. When it does not, we are in disobedience. Like you said, that often happens, which is a call for repentance, even if the reminder comes from a sweeping statement.

    By the way, if the statement does not reflect your life, then praise God! Too often, it does reflect my life (and the only life that I can do anything about), and so it reminds me to live out what I proclaim.


  8. 12-8-2008


    Thanks for he quote.

    The quote is part of our “lutheran church” passion that this would not be the case in our case.

  9. 12-9-2008


    I think it would be good if all of us had a passion that this would not be the case in our case. 🙂


  10. 12-9-2008

    That’s what I meant about myself!

  11. 12-9-2008

    Aussie John,

    Well, it hit both of us!